Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 1, Complete eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,359 pages of information about Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 1, Complete.

  Long live the Prince!  For many a year
    To wet each student’s throttle;
  He well deserves an extra cheer,
    Who brings an extra bottle.

* * * * *

PUNCH’S THEATRE.

THE WRONG MAN.

The author of this farce hath placed himself in the first section of the second chapter of that treatise on “Dramatic Casualties” which hath helped to make “Punch” the oracle of wit and of wisdom he has become to the entire intelligence of the land, from the aristocracy upwards[2].  In this instance he is truly one who “writeth a farce or comedy and neglecteth to introduce jokes in the same.”  But this we hope will prove a solitary instance of such neglect; for when he next inditeth, may he show that he is not the “Wrong Man” to write a good piece; although alas, he appeared on Saturday last to be exactly the right man for penning a bad one.

    [2] Punch, No. 11 page 131.

When a playwright produces a plot whose incidents are just within the possibilities, and far beyond the probabilities, of this life, it is said to be “ingenious,” because of the crowd of circumstances that are huddled into each scene.  According to this acceptation, the “Wrong Man” would be a highly ingenious farce; if that may be called a farce from which the remotest semblance of facetiae is scrupulously excluded.  Proceed we, therefore, to an analysis of the fable with becoming gravity.

At the outset we are introduced to a maiden lady in (horresco referens!) her private apartment; but to save scandal, the introduction is not made without company—­there is also her maid. Patty Smart, although not a new servant, has chosen that precise moment to inform her mistress concerning the exact situation of her private circumstances, and the precise state of her heart.  She is in love:  it is for Simon Tack that the flame is kept alive; he, a dapper upholder, upholds her affections.  At this point, a triangular note is produced, which plainly foretells a dishonourable rival.  You are not deceived; it proposes an assignation in that elysium of bachelors and precipice of destruction for young ladies, the Albany.  Wonderful to relate, it is from Miss Thomasina Fringe’s nephew, Sir Bryan Beausex.  The maiden dame is inconceivably shocked; and to show her detestation of this indelicate proposal, agrees to personate Patty and keep the appointment herself, for the pleasure of inflicting on her nephew a heap of mortification and a moral lecture. Mr. Tack is the next appearance:  being an upholsterer, of course he has the run of the house, so it is not at all odd to find him in a maiden lady’s boudoir; the more especially as he enters from behind his natural element—­the window curtains.

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Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 1, Complete from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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